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Wednesday, October 20 • 5:00pm - 5:25pm
OER for Social Justice: Perceptions of OER Among Historically Underserved College Students

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Since the beginning of the 21st century, textbook costs have soared over 130% (e.g., Senack & Donoghue, 2016). Such an acute increase has created financial hardship for today’s college students, with a disproportionately negative impact on historically underserved populations (Jenkins et al., 2018; 2020). Many colleges and universities have sought to alleviate this inequality through the use of Open Educational Resources (OER). Yet there remains a dearth of research examining OER’s specific use and perception among racial/ethnic minorities, low-income students, and first-generation college students (Ekowo, 2017). For each of these reasons, this study explores student perceptions of OER at a Hispanic-serving Institution (HSI) in Southern California. Results from over 500 undergraduate surveys revealed the vast majority of students to prefer OER over traditional textbooks because of their cost savings and increased availability; however, students also disparaged OER because of issues regarding internet access, text quality, and site navigation. We conclude with suggestions for how staff, faculty, and administrators might address OER’s perceived shortcomings and capitalize on their perceived strengths in order to better meet the needs of today’s increasingly diversified student body.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Gain greater awareness of the social justice issues surrounding course material costs
  • Increase knowledge of OER’s specific impact on historically under-served student populations
  • Acquire specific ideas and tangible suggestions for how best to meet the needs of today’s increasingly diversified student body


Jacob Jenkins

AL$ Campus Coordinator/Associate Professor, CSU Channel Islands
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Thomas Clobes

Lecturer, CSU Channel Islands
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Giselle Flores

Giselle Flores is CSU Channel Islands graduate with a degree in Bachelors of Science in Health Science. Currently she is a Assistant Clinical Manager in Westlake Village, CA. She works within the organization by interacting with patients, and communicating with clients, staff members... Read More →

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Wednesday October 20, 2021 5:00pm - 5:25pm EDT
Room D